The typical (or stereotypical) image of a great leader is usually someone who is friendly, talkative, and generally sociable. Normally expected to make connections with his or her own team and other industry players, business leaders could sometimes feel the pressure to make the rounds. Naturally, introverts MIGHT fare horribly in this field. Some CEOs even brand introversion as a hindrance to becoming a great leader. However, there is reason to believe otherwise.
According to a study, nearly 40 percent of leaders are in fact, introverts. It was found that many introverts make great leaders primarily because of their caution. Since extroverts are motivated more by achieving rewards, they tend to make bigger risks. Introverts, on the other hand, are methodical and are more likely to ruminate on the best course of action. In other words, they make calculated risks. Risk is an important factor in business, but a honed decision-making skill is the key to growth.
Introverts are also good listeners. They then internalize what they have heard and speak with discernment. They do not feel the need to be heard immediately. Instead, they listen, digest insight, and learn what to say instead of thinking about what to say while the other party is talking.
Lastly, introverts know exactly what they are capable of and thus, are more likely to exhibit humility. They can acknowledge when mistakes and knowledge gaps, and are open to new information.
Bottom line, leadership does not discriminate personality types. Whether one is an extrovert, an introvert, or something in between, great leadership is not out of reach. In the end, it is all about attitude, skills, network, and proper guidance from those who have been to the top.
Founded in July 2001 by Brian Dougherty and his wife, Jenny, Dougherty Marketing offers mentorship and training services to people who aim to improve their entrepreneurial and leadership skills. For inquiries, visit this website.